Planning My Next Book Dedication…

Book dedications are funny things. Authors often present them as inside jokes, like the one to the right. Others offer heartfelt thanks to their loved ones, their colleagues, or to people they admire. Some authors dedicate their books to the readers (the people who are most likely to actually see the dedication). And some writers dedicate them pompously to the world at large.

But why do authors feel the need to dedicate their books?

Personally, I think it has to do with the process of writing, specifically to writing novels.

You see, short stories are short. Some professionals can jot one off in an afternoon. Other, slower writers like me, can finish one in a few weeks.

But novels are a little different. They’re longer. They explore deeper themes. The characters burrow under your skin and take up residence there while you live your life for a month, two months, a year, two years.

I read once that the major difference between a short story and a novel is that you’re a different person by the time you finish writing a novel. This refers not only to the time that has passed but also to the effort of will you use to place your thoughts, your dreams on paper. Writing is harder than it looks. Try it sometime and you’ll see.

But know this–after you’ve written that novel–after you’ve fought to place your dreams on paper– you will feel like you’ve climbed a mountain. And you will want to shout it out to the world that you’ve made it to the top.

That dedication is your shout. That dedication is the thank you to everyone that helped you climb that mountain. It’s the laugh at all those that tried to stop you. It’s an acknowledgement that you’ve changed.

So who would you dedicate your book to?

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